Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Books to Movies, Novels to Films Part 1

Books to Film - Novels to Movies

This post was originally a 2 part article for Ezines, but I got sick of waiting for it to be published so I deleted it from there, to serve it here.
We've all seen it happen; we've all grunted and groaned when a favorite novel has been blasphemously skewered into a film. I personally almost cried when my most beloved novel Bless the Child was made into a b-movie that followed none of the characteristics of the book I had grown to love and honor.
But there is this little thing inside, this little spark of need, of want, of desire, to see if the images that floated across our minds while we read the tales woven on page, match up with the visuals of what others decide goes on our screens. It seems to be that, now more than ever, the films are living up to the books delivery.
My first novel-to-film happy moment was with the movie "The Green Mile
" I enjoyed it as much as the book. Then came the "Twilight" series. Yes I am a fan of the books, they pulled me in. I also loved the movies. A note on this though, I loved the movies because I knew the books. I watched the movies with people who had not read the books and they were not nearly as impressed. Interesting is it not? I feel the same way about the Harry Potter movies and books. I read the first Harry Potter, and enjoyed the first movie to no end, because I knew what was going on in the heads of the characters. The later movies, the ones whose books I did not read, I found far less entertaining. In fact, I found myself thoroughly confused during the last few films.
I can't compare "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy because I never read the books, but I know the die-hard fans were pretty much 50/50 when it came to their appreciation of the films. But again, I watched these movies with people who had read the books, and they were completely stoked about scenes I didn't quite get. They would say things like "Oh, I wonder how they are gonna do this part?" or "Wow, wait til you see what's coming up next!" only to find myself slightly moved by the scene they spoke of.
Let's move on a little to a favorite book series and TV series that is near and dear to me: "True Blood". The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris is fantastic. It's fast-paced and moves along nicely. The characters are fresh, three-dimensional people that easily invite the reader to love or hate them, sometimes both. But to be honest, I enjoy the HBO show based on the books so much more. I did watch the show before I found the series.

Though the quality and interpretation of the novel to the filmmakers is an obvious necessity in deciding which is better, what I think it comes down to in the end is; which came first to YOU, the movie or the book?
Which books to movies moved you or betrayed you?
Part two to this post will appear tomorrow, discussing up-coming books to film.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could throw in my opinion on LOTR, but I've only read the first book. Love the movies though!
    And I can see how you'd be confused about the later Harry Potter books. I feel that the 3rd one lets go of important personal details, and then the fourth and fifth let go of a lot of plot. The two Deathly Hallow films had a lot to catch up on!